Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Keep Track of Your Keys and Luggage with These Item Trackers


The comparison of the best object trackers for your luggage in brief

The best object trackers to stop you losing your stuff

The best object tracker: Tile Pro

Tile Pro 2022 tracker for Android and iOS
The Tile Pro is the best Bluetooth tracker on the market. / © Tile

The Tile Pro is the best object tracker on the market. It has a rectangular design with rounded corners and is made of high-quality plastic. You can remove one side to access the stack. Keep in mind that it’s rather imposing compared to its competitors, but it makes up for it with the integration of a key ring. Tile’s tracker relies on Bluetooth to find your lost objects.

With a direct range of 120 m, it can find lost items even if they’re quite a distance from you. Tile offers an app available on iOS and Android, but on iPhones it’s a little more limited. On Android, you’ll be able to add, rename, and share trackers with friends, view a map of recent locations or assign ringtones to your trackers.

The Tile network lets you tag your lost device and report when you find someone else’s Tile. The brand has placed a QR code on the back of the trackers so that the average person can scan it to help you.

The Tile Pro is compatible with Google Assistant, Siri, and Amazon Alexa. The replaceable battery lasts up to a year. Please note, however, that some features are reserved for a paid subscription, which costs €3.49/month.

The best Bluetooth tracker for iPhone and iPad: Apple AirTag

Apple AirTag review
You can also send a sound or ping to an Apple AirTag, but via the Find My app. / © nextpit

Read our full review of the Apple AirTag

The AirTag has established itself as a market leader thanks to its ease of use and, above all, Apple’s Find My network. It’s a small, round, fairly flat plastic pebble. It also allows you to remove one side to change the battery. However, it doesn’t come with a key ring, so you’ll need to buy a special case designed for this purpose.

In addition to Bluetooth, Apple’s tracker incorporates a UWB chip that enables it to search for lost objects with pinpoint accuracy. Apple promises a range of up to 60 m. But thanks to the Find My network, this is much greater and is in fact limited only by the number of Apple devices present in an area.

The AirTag also stands out for its user experience. It can be added to the Find application in the blink of an eye, and once connected, you can name the tracker, track its position, and so on. Apple’s tracker doesn’t, however, allow you to find your iPhone at the touch of a button, as the competition does.

Apple obliges, so forget about compatibility with Google Assistant or Alexa. You’ll be able to use it for a year before having to change the battery.

Good

  • Intuitive operation
  • Reliable tracking especially in combination with the U1 chip
  • Good data protection
  • Long battery life (approx. 1 year)
  • Personalizable via engravings

Bad

  • Accurate tracking only possible on iPhone models from iPhone 11 onwards
  • Key fob available only as an additional purchase
Apple AirTag

Go to review

Apple AirTag

The tracker with the best value for money: Chipolo One

Chipolo One Tracker on a keyring
The Chipolo One is a truly compact tracker, perfect for a key ring. / © Chipolo

The Chipolo One is an effective object tracker with a simple, sleek and compact design. It comes in a circular shape and is made of solid, high-quality plastic. With an integrated hole, it attaches easily to your keys or other objects, offering great practicality.

Chipolo One relies on Bluetooth technology to find your lost items. With a range of 60 m, it enables you to find your objects close by, whether at home, in the office, or on the move.

The Chipolo app also offers handy features such as a map of your items’ last known locations, and the ability to share trackers with friends and family for collaborative searching.

With a powerful audible alarm, reaching up to 120 dB, it lets you quickly locate your objects, even in the most crowded places. Chipolo One is fitted with a replaceable battery offering up to one year’s autonomy, ensuring long-lasting, hassle-free use.

Note that this is the classic version of the Chipolo One, which can be used on both iOS and Android via the Chipolo app. There’s also an iOS-only One Spot version based on Apple’s Find my network, and an Android-only One Point version using Google’s Find my network.

The best Bluetooth tracker for your wallet: Tile Slim

Tile slim tracker inside a wallet
The Tile Slim will fit perfectly in your wallet to help you find it easily. / © Tile

The Tile Slim is designed to prevent you from misplacing your wallet. It takes the form of a credit card, which you can place in your wallet.

With its 60 m range and compatibility with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri it’s a pretty versatile tracker. You can use the app on Android or iOS to find your items quickly. As with the Pro model, the app lets you rename, share trackers with friends, display a map of recent locations or assign ringtones to your trackers.

You’ll also benefit from the Tile network and the ability to mark your device as lost or report when you find someone else’s Tile. The QR code on the back will enable the average person to contact you if they find your tracker.

The Tile Slim is equipped with a non-replaceable battery with three years’ autonomy. Once again, you’ll have to pay for certain features.

The best GPS tracker: Invoxia Mini Tracker GPS

Invoxia item tracker with a set of keys
The Invoxia Mini Tracker GPS is a highly effective tracker for long distances. / © Invoxia

The Invoxia Mini Tracker GPS is a compact, elegant tracking device. Rectangular in shape with rounded edges, it is made from high-quality plastic. Its discreet design makes it easy to attach to your objects thanks to its integrated ring. Unlike other models, it’s extremely lightweight and almost unnoticeable.

Invoxia’s Mini Tracker uses a combination of GPS and low speed network to locate your lost objects, offering extensive coverage even outside urban areas. Thanks to the Invoxia app available on iOS and Android, you can track the position of your objects in real-time, define safe zones, and receive alerts in the event of suspicious movement.

This tracker stands out for its impressive autonomy, up to six months thanks to its rechargeable battery. The Invoxia Mini Tracker is compatible with voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri, and Amazon Alexa.

Whether you want to monitor your luggage while traveling or quickly find your misplaced keys at home, Invoxia’s GPS Mini Tracker offers a reliable and practical solution for protecting your most important items.

With its ease of use and proven reliability, it will quickly become an indispensable part of your daily routine, giving you added peace of mind. Subscription to Invoxia Tracking Services costs €24.95 per year, making it a cost-effective option for long-term monitoring.

Buying advice: Criteria to consider before buying an object tracker

How do object trackers work?

Object tracker design

Object trackers come in a variety of designs to suit different uses. For example, the Eufy Security SmartTrack is a compact, square tracker that’s easy to attach to keys, while the Tile Slim takes the shape of a credit card for easy insertion in a wallet.

These varied designs allow you to choose the model best suited to your specific needs. Most models are IP67-certified, so they’re safe from water and dust.

The different types of object trackers

Object trackers use different technologies to locate objects: Bluetooth, which offers a limited range, ideal for close objects such as keys; GPS, which enables precise global location in real-time for more distant objects; and UWB, which provides very high location accuracy at close range, useful for finding objects with great precision.

The audible alarm of object trackers

Bluetooth and GPS object trackers are equipped with powerful audible alarms to help you quickly find your lost belongings. With sound levels of up to 120 dB, these alarms are audible enough to be heard even in the noisiest environments. They make it easy to locate your lost items quickly, offering extra peace of mind in the event of loss.

Object tracker compatibility with connected home ecosystems

Some Bluetooth trackers are compatible with voice assistants, enabling you to launch the search for your lost items via voice command. While the AirTag, for example, only supports Siri, Tile’s trackers are compatible with Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa at the same time.

Object tracker range and location technologies

Bluetooth object trackers have a limited range, usually up to a few hundred meters, depending on surrounding obstacles. Location networks such as Apple’s Find My and Samsung’s SmartThings Find leverage the Bluetooth network of millions of iPhones and Galaxy smartphones to help locate lost objects.

Apple AirTags location displayed on an iPhone screen
An Apple AirTag can be precisely located using the Find My application on iPhones, which exploits both UWB and Bluetooth. / © nextpit

GPS trackers, on the other hand, offer global coverage, enabling objects to be located anywhere in the world as long as they have a satellite connection. These networks rely on a global satellite infrastructure to provide precise coordinates of object location, offering unlimited range but requiring a constant connection to a satellite network.

The differences between Bluetooth and GPS technologies are summarized in the table below:

  Advantages Disadvantages
Bluetooth tracker
  • Ideal for tracking nearby objects
  • Low energy consumption
  • Battery life from one to three years
  • Extendable range with user network
  • Affordable cost
  • Ease of use
  • Short range, generally up to 100 m
  • Variable accuracy depending on obstacles
GPS tracker
  • Extremely long range
  • Ideal for tracking objects anywhere in the world in real-time
  • Connects to GPS satellites to provide precise coordinates of object location
  • Ideal for vehicles and luggage when traveling
  • Higher energy consumption
  • Higher costs
  • Subscriptions to GPS tracking services
  • More complex configuration

Object tracker battery life

Bluetooth object trackers generally have long battery life, thanks to their low power consumption. They can often operate for a year or more with a standard replaceable battery. This long life makes them ideal for everyday use without the need for frequent recharging.

The vast majority of trackers sold today are powered by CR2032 batteries. Battery life ranges from 1 year for models with a replaceable battery, such as the Galaxy Smart Tag 2, to 3 years for models with a non-replaceable battery, such as the Tile Slim.

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag 2 with the battery compartment opened
The CR2032 battery tray on the Galaxy Smart Tag 2 features a rubber seal to maintain water resistance. / © nextpit

GPS trackers, on the other hand, consume more energy due to their constant connection to satellites for real-time tracking. They use rechargeable batteries that need to be recharged after a few months, depending on use. The Invoxia Tracker GPS Pro, for example, can last up to 3 months.

The privacy risks of object trackers

Like many connected objects, object trackers represent a danger to privacy, particularly in terms of unauthorized tracking. Fortunately, brands have become aware of this and developed solutions to avoid privacy violations. For example, Apple’s AirTag raised concerns that it could be used to track people without their knowledge.

But Apple has introduced measures. The AirTag can ring after 8 hours away from its owner to signal its presence. The brand even enables the detection of unknown AirTags on Android.

Samsung protects privacy by making the device’s location accessible only with the owner’s authorization. In addition, SmartThings Find enhances security with Unknown tag alerts, which warn of unauthorized tracking by sending a notification when an unknown SmartTag follows the user.

Google's new Unwanted Tracking feature on Android
Google now makes it possible to be notified of nearby unknown trackers. / © nextpit.com

Similarly, Google’s new Locate feature for Android, which will detect unknown trackers, aims to counter these risks by alerting you when an unknown tracker moves with you. For other brands, Google offers recognition of unknown trackers moving at the same time as you directly in Android smartphones’ settings. Compatibility of this feature is being extended over time to various tracker manufacturers.

Despite these measures, the potential for misuse remains a concern, requiring ongoing vigilance and constant improvements in security protocols to protect your privacy.

So much for our comprehensive object tracker buying guide. Now you can choose the right tracker for your needs, so all that’s left is to jump on one of the models in our selection to guarantee a peaceful summer without lost luggage or personal belongings.

Have you ever lost your belongings while traveling? What solution do you currently use to prevent such losses? Are you planning to buy an object tracker? If so, which one?



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